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SkyWest Comfortable With 50% Small RJ Fleet

SkyWest's CEO on fleet plans.

DENVER—SkyWest Inc. plans to maintain up to 50% of its fleet as 50-seat regional jets (RJs), projecting sustained demand in markets that cannot support larger aircraft, CEO Chip Childs said.

"We see a tremendous opportunity long-term to have that aircraft serve small communities," Childs told the International Aviation Forecast Conference here. "We have not [parked our smallest RJs], and we likely will not."

SkyWest Inc., which operates SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines—both regional feeders for mainline carriers—had a 583-aircraft fleet as of June 30. More than half—298—were either Bombardier CRJ200s or Embraer ERJ 135/145s. 

It plans to end the year with 585 aircraft, continuing a trend of right-sizing its fleet so it is large enough to capitalize on opportunities, but small enough to be somewhat isolated from demand fluctuations.

The rest of this gated article is available on AviationWeek.com.

TAGS: Fleet
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